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Committee Hears Coleman's Unfunded Mandates Bill

By Rick Thompson
Senior Legislative Liaison

The House County Affairs Committee heard testimony on HJR 89 by Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) on March 24. The legislation is a constitutional amendment that would prohibit most future unfunded mandates from being placed on counties. It is different from HJR 56 by Rep. Burt Solomons (R-Carrollton) because Coleman’s constitutional amendment relates only to counties, not any other local government entities.

Coleman, serving his second term as County Affairs chairman, said House Joint Resolution 89 is “a very important piece of legislation” in light of state budget cuts. “In this session, where the dollars are limited, programs end up getting cut or the cost gets passed on to someone else,” Coleman said.

County organizations, including the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas, the Conference of Urban Counties and the Texas Association of Counties, were at the hearing to support HJR 89.

Coleman filed the same legislation last session and continues to be a true friend to counties and a dedicated leader seeking to prevent more mandates, especially in his role as County Affairs chair. HJR 89, which would take effect in 2012 if voters approve it in November, was left pending in committee for now, but look forward to the committee’s approval in the near future.

For more information on HJR 89, contact Rick Thompson at (800) 456-5974 or .

See related article on HJR 56.